Social Media Breakfast Madison

Find out where your audience is, use video and repurpose content. These were only a few of the many great takeaways from the expert panel at this month’s Social Media Breakfast held at 100 State.

During the live social media audit of local nonprofits—REAP Food Group and Monroe Street Arts Center—digital marketing experts Jess Bahr, Tanya Ciurro and Abbe Smith, gave the organizations great advice to help them engage with their audiences and reach more people.

Up first was REAP Food Group. REAP aims to grow a sustainable, local food system. Its Farm to School program provides fresh, locally sourced food to kids across Madison. The organization’s questions for the panel ranged from posting pictures on Instagram, to how to move people through the funnel to become donors, to how to decide who to follow on Twitter. The experts gave REAP this advice:

  • Use a concise look for photos on Instagram
  • Use more hashtags – displaypurposes.com is a great source to find hashtags
  • Plan out content on an editorial calendar
  • Combine multiple Facebook pages and have a healthy mix of educational, lifestyle and creative posts
  • Create an educational series
  • Use the Facebook donate feature to convert followers to donors
  • Find out where your audience is
  • Use pictures and video with Facebook statuses to reach more people. Track who’s watching videos and target them.
  • On Twitter, follow your volunteers and brands that can help you
  • Share more about what REAP offers—educate people and they will share about your organization

REAP Communications Director Hannah Wente asked the panel if the organization should keep their Twitter page, since they only get a few likes on tweets. Jess advised REAP not to “abandon Twitter.” She said timing is crucial on Twitter and suggested REAP recycle its tweets.

Monroe Street Arts Center was up next in the live social media audit. MSAC serves more than 330 private music students and over 500 art students. MSAC’s questions about their platforms included ways to make video (free), resources for keeping up on Facebook  and the most cost effective way to advertise on Facebook. The panel gave MSAC the following takeaways:

  • Continue to post on Instagram. There’s a lot of engagement there.
  • On Facebook, focus on educational and feel good content, as well as call-to-action
  • Boost posts on Facebook but don’t boost everything. Use Facebook Ads, as they allow you to target a specific audience.
  • Use Facebook live but pick and choose what you want to go live with
  • For video content, Facebook has a slideshow tool to create videos and there are free sites like iMovie.
  • Continue the teacher feature on Thursdays. For all content, lead with people and projects.
  • Encourage followers to share MSAC content on their Facebook pages
  • Add Instagram button to website. Cross-promote with Facebook.
  • Use a consistent logo across all platforms

MSAC Executive Director Holly Baris and staff member Kallie Collins also asked the panel about Twitter. The two wanted advice on whether or not to keep using Twitter because they said it’s not useful for them. Tonya said Twitter is not ideal for the organization and said “don’t have it just to have it.”


Hywania ThompsonWritten by Hywania Thompson, Writer and Editor, @hywania